Police said a body found in a ditch near the parking lot of the South Keys Shopping Centre on Sunday is that of 28-year-old Melissa Richmond.

Ontario Provincial Police and Ottawa police major crimes investigators were at the scene throughout the day Sunday after the body was found at about 9 a.m.

Police had discovered the body in a ditch between the Kelsey's restaurant, located in the South Keys shopping centre parking lot, and Bank Street. The death was treated as suspicious and an autopsy was performed on Monday.

A police source told CBC News that there were signs of trauma.

Police said Richmond is Ottawa's seventh homicide victim of the year. Police have not determined if she was killed where she was found.

Police also do not know if Richmond knew her attacker. Police said there is no information about a possible suspect at this time.


Police officers with the emergency services unit looked for evidence in the ditch near where a body was found Sunday. (Judy Trinh/CBC)

The body was also found very close to where police found a vehicle Friday belonging to Richmond.

Richmond had been last seen Wednesday leaving her home in a beige 2004 Chrysler Sebring, with the personalized licence plate RPGGIRL.

She was a dental hygienist, married for eight years to a Canadian soldier named Howard Richmond. She told her husband she was going for a late night drive at approximately 11:30 p.m.

Her vehicle was found by a Denny's Restaurant employee Friday night who saw her backpack and purse still in the car.

Anyone with information regarding the suspicious death investigation is urged to call 613-236-1222 ext. 5493.